Fears over museum’s future

The Angus Folk Museum at Glamis.
The Angus Folk Museum at Glamis.

A local historian has expressed concerns for the future of a valuable collection of items housed in the Angus Folk Museum at Glamis.

The museum, run by the National Trust for Scotland, has been closed to the public for two years and now there are fears it will never re-open.

David Orr from Kirriemuir contacted us to raise a number of points in the hope the extensive collection, gathered by Lady Jane Maitland and which reflects rural life in Angus during the middle of the 1900s, is not lost forever.

He said: “There were a number of different categories - agriculture, furniture, domestic utensils, lighting appliances, all different things which she had collected.

“Since then the museum acquired lots of other things like the Glenisla hearse.

“I am looking for assurances that the collections won’t go outwith Angus. It is ironic that the Highland Folk Museum, started by Lady Grant in Kingussie at the same time and with the same items as Lady Maitland, expands every year and attracts thousands of tourists.

“The Angus Folk Museum it a totally forgotten hidden gem in Angus. It is never publicised. The National Trust for Scotland doesn’t seem to recognise what they actually have.

“If they are going to make the decision, which I fear they will, that the museum will close, what will become of the collections?

“It seems bizarre that the museum has the biggest tourist draw by far in Angus - Glamis Castle - right next door yet this is just being ignored.”

The museum is housed in six 18th-century cottages with the agricultural collection in the farm steading opposite.

It was run by trustees until placed in the care of the National Trust for Scotland in 1976.

The Trust closed the museum at the end of the 2014 season after a routine survey revealed problems with the fabric of the cottages. That followed a prolonged closure to the public throughout 2013 which was prompted by the danger posed by loose roof tiles.

When asked to comment on the rumour that the museum is to be closed permanently, a spokesperson for the National Trust for Scotland said: “The position is that the Trust is looking at a range of options for the future - no decisions have been made at this stage.

“That’s all there is to say at the moment.”